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Smash all the Windows Paperback – 12 Apr 2018
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We live with the relatives as they seek justice after their dead family members have their reputations besmirched by the court. For this terrible accident on the escalator of a London tube has Hillsbrorough-style consequences – 58 dead, unfairly accused of being the architects of their own fate.
What is brilliant about this book is not just that it takes us through the tragedy and its consequences, enabling us to live it with the characters – but that it goes so much further. The culmination of the book – a show at Tate Modern curated by the French artist who lost his own wife in the tragedy – is a real tour de force. Having seen how the disaster and the contrary verdicts of both inquest and civil case have impacted the lives of these families, we get to experience this exhibition with them, and through the nature of the exhibits to understand them and their loved ones better.
Jane Davis writes beautifully – but this book is so much more than its beautiful prose – it takes us right under the skin of a series of highly memorable characters so by the end of the book have become people we care deeply about. A very rare feat indeed, aided by her insightful and compassionate observation of human life. She is able to form a rich and intricate tapestry from the tiniest details.
Read this book! It’s superb.
The story deals with the aftermath of an accident on an escalator on the London Underground. It tells of the traumatic effects on some of the victims and their loved ones. The author gradually draws you into each character's story and she does it with such sympathy, empathy and insight that it makes for a gripping and emotional read. I liked how the grieving process was so honestly portrayed as messy and unpredictable and, at times, all-consuming. The characters couldn't move on while they waited years for the revised official ruling into what caused the accident. But then even after that happens, comes the realisation that grief doesn't conveniently stop. And this is portrayed quite beautifully.
A thought-provoking, poignant and uplifting read.
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